I'm writing on behalf of a friend who purchased a home with a Culligan water softener. Home is about 15 years old. Only markings found so far show Aqua Sensor.
At this point she has never touched it. I'm assuming, hopefully correct, that the system has been in bypass mode the entire time.
Most of the instructions I've found so far relate to new installations. Concern here is how best to restart a unit that has been out of service for at least 6 months? As I have never been in a home with a softener all this is new to me.
Hopefully restarting is a straightforward task. Otherwise if recommended we'll have no qualms contacting Culligan for a service call.
On Saturday, February 27, 2016 at 10:44:10 PM UTC-6, Ed Pawlowski wrote:
uld or should not do when restarting a water softener that hasn't been used
Having never owned a water softener I'm being cautious. In the automotive
world when a vehicle is being reactivated most recommendations include chan
ging the oil and filter, brake and steering fluids, and often flushing the
cooling systems. Also common is to inspect the gas tank and replace a fuel
filter. All various steps to ensure the user doesn't risk causing new dam
Is there any analogy with water softening systems? Should things be flushe
d first, emptied, lubricated, etc? Or is it as simple as confirm enough sa
lt is in the tank, check control panel settings, and open the bypass valve?
I've owned and installed water softeners in my own home for ~ 40 years.
Pretty straightforward. In your case there are no fuel filters, lube
Flushing? Sure thing. Does this unit take salt pellets or rock salt -
big difference and something you definitely want to know before
refilling the brining tank. The other thing to consider is a
"reconditioning agent" (or a rose by any other name). Morton Salt makes
one with a chemical added to the pellets that "cleans" the mineral bed
and system. There are also bottles of same which can be selectively
added to brine tank during the recharge cycle to accomplish the same
thing. Note: I had a bad experience using the Morton product (all the
time). The chemical added produced fumes that eventually attacked the
Delrin gears in the water softener control head and I wound up have to
replace the whole damn thing. I think it was more of a design defect
(Sears Kenmore with softener tank, controls and brining tank all in one
I would clean it (brine tank) out as best I could, fill it with the
correct salt type.
I would then run it through two or three recharge cycles just to get the
"old" water out of the mineral bed. And I would do this in rapid succession.
I would then TEST the softened water for hardness and iron content and
make sure the softener's controls were properly set so you don't run out
of hard water. The newer models (and higher end) do not recharge on a
set schedule. You simply input the water hardness level and a
microcomputer in the control unit monitors water usage and recharges
automatically. Thus, if you go on vacation and don't use any water for
three weeks, the unit will not recharge (as there's no need). When
you're home and hardness/capacity/usage combine to require a recharge
every six days that's what you get. If the kids come to visit and
suddenly you're doing two extra loads of wash and there are seven
showers every morning and two baths at night, the softener may
regenerate every night. Easy-Peasy!
No. If it weren't for recharging, water softeners would be extremely
simple. Just a tank that the water goes through that chemically
attracks calcium in order to soften the water. The recharge makes it
more complicated, but if it just sitting there not being used and on
bypass, it should be fine. All the valves to is flush salt water
through the tank which causes the calcium that has built up to go down
the drain. The tank is then flushed with fresh water and returned to
service. There is no oil or coolant like a car. It may or may not
work depending on how long it has been idle. If it hasn't been on
bypass, then the tank might be clogged up. Regardless, running it
won't cause any additional damage. Good luck.
You will know if it is working when you take a shower. Instead of
rinsing to a slightly sticky feeling, you will feel like you haven't
quite rinsed the soap off. You will get used to that feeling when you
realize you have rinsed well and that is just what soft water feels
Take it out of bypass mode by pushing a button or turning knobs. I'd
just make sure there is salt in the tank and start recharge cycle. As it
fills the hot water tank with softened water owner will see when taking
shower or washing dishes. And hope unit is not unplugged. It may need to
be programmed. No owners manual with the unit?
Probably a visit to your Culligan Man is required for this -
but talk to him after you read-up on the model in-question.
If you begin the conversation by buying a bag of salt - you might
get some free advice - as you would then be a loyal customer !
Just walking in and taking up his valuable time for free advice,
might only get you a service appointment ..
There was some good advice posted here - but I didn't see mention of
checking the float switch. And I wouldn't assume that the unit was in
by-pass .... modern metered units shouldn't re-generate during
extended periods of no usage Good luck.
Went ahead and bought a 50lb bag of salt. Restarted and encountered no problems. Ran the regeneration 3 times in 3 days. So far so good.
Now I just need to read up on optimum settings. Seems the water used by the regeneration cycles is quite a bit more than anticipated. Total usage is now 3 times that before activating the softener.
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